Drummer Paul Francis on his rock star life with Bill Wyman, Led Zep and others (From Essex County Standard)
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Drummer Paul Francis on his rock star life with Bill Wyman, Led Zep and others
A DRUMMER who has played and partied with rock legends has written his life story.
Paul Francis, from Great Horkesley, shares his experiences of playing with Rolling Stones’ bassist Bill Wyman and partying with Led Zeppelin in his autobiography, Drumming Up Vibrations.
Mr Francis, now 63, started drumming aged nine, leaving school at 14 to tour the UK with Rolf Harris.
He said: “I had to get permission to leave school to do the tour. But to work with Rolf at that age was an amazing opportunity. He is a lovely guy and what you see is what you get.”
Mr Francis went on to work with Tony Jackson, former bassist and singer with Sixties’ group the Searchers.
He said: “I managed to get the job with him and the next minute I was on Top of The Pops with a record in the Top 30.”
He has also played with Scottish rock singer Maggie Bell, Britain’s answer to Janis Jopplin, and Cockney Rebel frontman Steve Harley, who once worked for the Gazette.
Mr Francis has toured America, partied with Led Zeppelin and met artist Salvador Dali at a gig – experiences also described in his book.
He said: “People have been begging me to put it all down. I thought nobody would be interested, but once I started I realised there was a lot of information there.
“There are some really great stories in the book. It was so much fun recollecting them and putting them down on paper.”
For the past 20 years, Mr Francis has run Orchard Percussion Studio, and has also been an examiner for the Trinity Guildhall School of Music.
He said: “I have had a fantastic life and to get paid for doing something I love has been a real bonus.
The book hit shelves yesterday. Copies cost £18.95 and are available from Red Lion Books, in High Street, Colchester, www.orchardpercussionstudio.
co.uk or www.amazon.co.uk